Also known as Bai Mudan, White Peony is a very popular white tea in China and now abroad. White teas are made only from the newly sprouted buds of the tea plant that provide a honey texture to the brew. The buds are heat braised in covered pans or dried in direct sun with minimal or no oxidation. There are several grades of White Peony, which are distinguished by the age of the plants, season, and quality of leaves.
White Peony teas originated in China’s Fujian province. The new bud and one leaf are plucked from the Da Bai tea plant varietals of Zhenghe and Fuding counties to make this tea. Nowadays White Peony-style teas are also made in other areas of China, but the flavors are quite unique due to the differences in varietals, climate, and soil.
Fujian Province, known as Min, is situated along China’s southeastern coast. Fujian’s mild, humid, subtropical and marine climate is especially conducive to tea cultivation. Fujian tea has a 1600 year history. The earliest written record of tea production in Fujian is kept on a stone tablet at the Lian Hua Feng (Lotus Peak) in Nan’an County.
Classic style White Peony is made in April, when the young bud and one leaf set is at its most flavorful. The buds have distinct white hair that makes the brew texture smooth and refined.